• Marriage in Maine

Abromson Memorial Scholarship Winners

Anonymous's picture
Written by Anonymous
June 25, 2010 - 2:48pm

Each year EqualityMaine awards scholarships of $1,000 to three college-bound high school seniors as part of our education and leadership development efforts. Since 1992 we have given more than $29,000 in scholarships to the next generation of Maine leaders.  As we receive dozens of student essays each year, many of which bear witness to harassment and discrimination in our schools, and many of which offer fresh perspectives on the importance of equality for all, you can imagine that choosing the winners is a tough task.

This year proved no different than years past. We received many essays from students from across the State who have been working hard within their schools and communities to build a bridge between students and Maine's LGBT community. The winners of this year’s Joel Abromson Memorial Scholarship Fund are Bryce Leary, Emily Guernsey and Samantha Hall.

Bryce Leary is a graduate of Falmouth High School and will be attending Hartwick College in New York.  Bryce was President of his high school GSA and Co-President of the Civil Rights Team. He believes that it is important that kids learn acceptance of diversity at a young age so that in turn they will accept everyone for who they are.

Samantha Hall, a recent graduate of Yarmouth High School, is getting ready for her first year at the University of Maine, Farmington. Samantha and a friend reestablished the GSA in their school to try to meet some of the challenges facing the kids in her school. She believes that full equality is equal rights for everyone, and she’d like to work on achieving that by continuing to spread awareness and eliminating questions and concerns about the LGBT community.

Emily Guernsey graduated from Greely High School and will be attending Elon University in the fall.  Emily started getting involved in the fight for equality in high school when she joined her school’s GSA as a sophomore, and was president by her junior year.  One major event that Emily will never forget is attending the marriage hearing last year.  Not only did she return to school and share what she learned with others, she also introduced herself to one of the speakers and wrote an essay about the experience.

This award is named after the late state Senator Joel Abromson, a Republican from Portland who lost his battle with cancer in early 2002. Joel was a passionate champion for civil rights legislation, twice sponsoring bills that would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. He unfortunately did not live long enough to see the enactment of the statewide non-discrimination law in 2005, but through his scholarship, we are able to continue his work by helping young leaders follow in his footsteps.

Congratulations to Bryce, Samantha and Emily!

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